After their bronze-winning performance in the 2004 Olympics, the USA man's basketball team sought redemption to bring back gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the team including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade among others was widely recognized as 'The Redeem Team'.
After producing the award-winning documentary on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, The Last Dance, Jon Weinbach directed and produced a Netflix documentary on the 2008 gold-winning USA basketball team, which was released on October 7, 2022.
Watch The Redeem Team trailer:
Team USA and Sapin were placed in the same group at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China. Kobe Bryant from USA and Pau Gasol from Spain were then teammates at NBA team Los Angeles Lakers and faced each other during their team's group stage fixture. Spain were the world champions at that time as they defeated USA in the finals, however, the Black Mamba was not part of that American side.
When Kobe Bryant BODIED Pau Gasol:
During USA and Spain's group stage fixture, Kobe Bryant intentionally ran into Pau Gasol's chest and knocked him on the floor, which surprised the whole world. The move left Kobe's USA teammates LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in shock as it was the least expected move from legendary Kobe Bryant.
With this move, Kobe sent a message to his Lakers teammate Pau Gasol that they aren't 'brothers' in the Olympics, rather they are opponents. While explaining the incident in the documentary, LeBron James said, "Kobe said he gonna set the tone at the start of the game and he said- I'm gonna running throught Pau's f**king chest." While Dwayne Wade confirmed Kobe saying, "First play of the game, I'm running through Pau Gasol."
It was the first play of the game when Kobe showed no mercy to Pau Gasol as confirmed by the two greats James and Wade. Team USA went on to win the match and faced Spain in the finals, where they avenged their world cup loss.
Former Argentina shooting guard Manu Ginobili was named the best player of the tournament as USA displayed a tremendous team performance to redeem the Olympic gold medal.